It’s time to potty train your toddler! And there’s a good chance your first question is, “What’s the key to easy potty training?” We have a lot of great advice on this site, and one of the first steps we recommend is to have the right potty training supplies. This potty training shopping list can help prepare you for the adventure you and your toddler are about to begin.
12 Potty Training Essentials
- Potty seat: There are two types of potty training seats. It’s good to experiment with both options to see what works best for your toddler, or you can ask them which they feel more comfortable with. This is simply a matter of personal preference—what feels right to your son or daughter—so let them take the lead here.
- Stand-alone potty seats: These seats are just small chairs with a hole in them. That means they don’t flush, so you’ll have to dump the waste and clean the chair after each use. Some kids prefer potty training on this style seat because it doesn’t require any climbing or flushing. You can also move it between rooms, bring it to relatives’ houses or even keep one in the car.
- Toilet adapter potty seats: These seats fit over a regular toilet to make the seat smaller, so your child is more comfortable and won’t have to worry about falling into the toilet. If you choose this style, be sure to get a sturdy step stool so your toddler can climb up onto the toilet seat.
- Step Stool: Your toddler likely can’t quite climb up to the sink or adult toilet on their own quite yet, so let them practice their independence by getting a stool that gets them closer on their own. Getting to be in control without as much help will probably make them more open to the process.
- Faucet Extender: Just like little legs can’t quite get to the toilet on their own, little arms can’t quite reach the sink yet either. Consider purchasing an attachment for your bathroom faucets so your toddler can do a little bit more of the hand washing routine on their own.
- Foamy Soap: Your toddler will look forward to washing their hands if hand washing feels like fun! Auto dispensers can also be exciting for toddlers and great for little hands. Make it more fun with different colors and scents, and be sure you know the proper way to wash your hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, so think about a song you and your potty training child can sing together that lasts long enough, like “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
- Flushable Wipes: Premoistened wipes can feel more comfortable than toilet paper (especially that scratchy stuff they have in public restrooms!) and make thorough clean-up easier for your potty training child too. We recommend these wipes, because they are safe for sewer and septic systems, so you can flush them just like toilet paper. Choose a wipes tub on your first shopping trip, and then purchase refill packs of wipes.
- Books: There will be a lot of time spent just sitting on the potty and waiting – help pass the time in a fun way by getting potty-related books to read to your child while they’re waiting to pee or poop. You can also consider creating your own potty training book with your child.
- Reward chart: Encourage your child to track potty training accomplishments. Many kids love a sticker chart, and some parents even let kids put the stickers they earn on the potty. Or you can make a big chart (or a book) with stars or other little pictures for your child to color each time they are successful. Have a toddler who loves dinosaurs, horses, puppies, or other animals? Make your chart specific to their interests.
- Toys: A few new and bathroom-only toys may persuade some potty action. Consider making a little potty training treasure chest for your boy or girl out of an empty shoebox. You and your child can decorate it and store little toys in there. Some favorite toys for the bathroom include finger puppets, coloring books, bubbles, inexpensive musical instruments, and small stuffed animals.
- Small treats: A tiny treat like a mini marshmallow, chocolate candies, or jellybeans may be a good incentive for potty success. Give one at a time when your child experiences a positive potty training moment. Just keep in mind you’ll only want to do this for a short period, so your child doesn’t think a sugary snack is the only reason for using the potty. That’s why it’s wise to have other rewards, such as praise or stickers. Or, if you want to go the food route, consider healthier options too, like crackers, raisins, or pretzels.
- Disinfectant wipes: Accidents and messes are sure to happen on your potty training adventure. Keep disinfecting surface wipes handy so clean-ups are quick and easy. Just be sure to keep these wipes out of reach of little hands — and don’t mix them up with flushable wipes.
- Goodnites® Bed Mats : Another simple way to help your child with potty training at night is to use disposable bed mats to give them restful nights and help you cut down on sheet changes.
- Underwear: It might be a few months before your child moves from training pants to underwear, but it’s still worth looking at while you’re at the store to give an idea of the ultimate goal of this journey. Show your child what big boy or big girl underwear looks like, and have them pick out their favorite styles, colors, or characters. You can buy them right away and set them aside until your child is ready to wear them, or plan to pick them up on a future shopping trip.
Potty Training Shopping List for Boys
- Target Practice Items: Whether it be cereal, semi-permanent stickers on the bottom of the bowl, or a floating item, toilet targets may help a potty training boy become a master at hitting the bullseye.
- Practice Urinal: When your potty trainee is ready to practice potty training in public, it may be a good idea to practice with equipment they’ll find in a public restroom so it is more familiar when they see the real thing. There are plenty of options out there that either stand up on their own or even stick to your bathroom wall at home.
- Pull-Ups® Training Pants for Boys: Consider letting your toddler pick out the training pants with his favorite Disney character on them. While we encourage choosing any characters that most motivate your child, Pull-Ups® training pants for boys are specifically designed with special absorption zones where boys need it most. Try to encourage your little boy to pick out training pants with Mickey Mouse, Spiderman, Olaf or Buzz Lightyear featured on them.
- Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants for Boys: To help prepare for nighttime potty training, consider these training pants with extra absorbency for overnight protection.
Potty Training Shopping List for Girls
- Pull-Ups® Training Pants for Girls: Consider letting your toddler pick out the training pants with her favorite Disney character on them. While we encourage choosing any characters that most motivate your child, Pull-Ups® training pants for girls are specifically designed with special absorption zones where girls need it most. Try to encourage your little girl to pick out training pants with Minnie Mouse, Elsa and Ana, Disney Princesses or Bo Peep featured on them.
- Pull-Ups® Night*Time Training Pants for Girls: To help prepare for nighttime potty training, consider these training pants with extra absorbency for overnight protection.
With that shopping cart loaded up and your toddler feeling the excitement, you’ll be all set to start potty training. Best of luck to you on the journey. It can — and should be — a fun one!